Not all children have the same Oak Park school experience. In 2019, working with school administration, one D97 PTO provided snacks, extra clothes, and experiences for economically challenged students. In 2020, with nation-wide illness and job loss, it delivered small libraries, and struggled to provide food and assistance.

All D97 schools faced the same challenges. Currently, up to 20% of students in D97 schools qualify for free or reduced lunch, with even more families “just making it” or temporarily experiencing economic struggle.

In 2021, the PTO Council presiding over all D97 PTOs, along with the Diversity Council (DIVCO), prioritized centering the removal of economic barriers so that all students could have the same opportunities.

A district-wide coat drive caught the eye of the Good Heart Work Smart foundation (GHWS) which generously donated $100,000 towards the goal of creating an Angel Fund for families in need along with a commitment to donate $50,000 annually for three years.

The Angel Fund will give students financial access to:

  • Field trips, school fees, supplies, and after-school enrichment
  • Yearbooks, graduation gowns, PE uniforms, and spiritwear
  • Clothing, toiletries, food needs

Yet we continue to learn, through our diversity and equity lens, that existing needs are more than previously imagined. Growing the Angel Fund is paramount to ensuring that every student has every opportunity. Support this cause by sending tax deductible donations to:
Lincoln PTO, ATTN: D97 STUDENT ANGEL FUND, 1111 S Grove Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304

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